WSOP 2017: Field combines and bubble looms; Day 3 thriller begins

There is not an official word in the poker lexicon to describe what happens at the start of Day 3 of the World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event. But it is significant nonetheless.

This is combination day, or maybe amalgamation day. It's the moment that every player still with chips in the Main Event returns to the convention centre of the Rio Hotel & Casino and plays at the same time.

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Bracelet a day nearer

As we have been documenting throughout the past five days, this eight-year high field of 7,221 has gradually been whittled down to 2,572. They did that over three starting flights, followed by two Day 2s.

But there's enough space now in the Amazon, Pavilion and Brasilia rooms to seat them all, and this tournament now plays to its final table like any other. Days go by, the field shrinks, and the survivors come back tomorrow. The tension ratchets up another notch. The possibilities seem more tangible; the disappointments more bitter.

The PokerStars contingent has shrunk too. We are now left with nine representatives coming into Day 3, and they line up as follows:

Randy Lew - 297,400
Andre Akkari - 228,000
Felipe Ramos - 165,300
Barry Greenstein - 133,200
Aditya Agarwal - 129,000
Jake Cody - 108,400
Fatima Moreira de Melo - 102,500
Jason Mercier - 101,800
Liv Boeree - 72,500

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Randy Lew: Leads the Red Spades

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Liv Boeree: Work to do

There's a wealth of experience among them--11 WSOP bracelets, and three EPT titles, among other accolades--and we can at least rely on them to pick the right spots to move up the counts. Whether the cards and opponents will play ball remains to be seen, but we'll track them as they try.

The top 10 counts in the tournament as a whole are as follows:

1. Artan Dedusha (United Kingdom) - 680,000
2. Lawrence Bayley (United Kingdon) - 618,000
3. Mickey Craft (USA) - 608,100
4. Richard Gryko (United Kingdom) - 564,800
5. Michael Krasienko (USA) - 561,300
6. Marcin Chmielewski (Poland) - 561,000
7. Scott Anderson (USA) - 560,000
8. Sergio Castelluccio (Italy) - 548,500
9. Sonny Franco (USA) - 546,700
10. Michael Sklenicka (Czech Republic) - 540,600

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Artan Dedusha: Man on top

That's a pretty spectacular showing from the Europeans, Britain in particular, but they will be mindful of the fact that no Brit has won the WSOP Main Event since Mansour Matloubi in 1990.

There's one other hugely important factor to look out for today. We might just make the money. As per the tournament schedule, when the 1,085th-placed player is knocked out, we begin divvying up the $67,877,400 prize-pool. Player #1,084 will receive a min-cash of $15,000.

At time of writing it seems a little unlikely that we'll more than halve today's starting field during ten hours' of play, but it is a definite possibility. Tournament organisers have said all along that the money might be reached at the end of Day 3 or start of Day 4, and we're still on track for that.

If it's the former, then we're looking at Bubble Day at the WSOP. And no need to find a new name for this day after all.

Update: Tournament officials have today announced that we will play into the money today, whatever happens. That means that the day may well run later than the five scheduled levels. At that point, the day will end. It is still, however, "subject to change" so watch this space.


WSOP photos by PokerPhotoArchive.com.